Saturday Night Cinema: Captain Kidd (1945)


Tonight’s Saturday Cinema, Captain Kidd” stars actor’s actor Charles Laughton. Laughton “pulled from his guts monsters of repression, greed, lust so terrifying — and normal men of such realistic simplicity — as to make statements about not just the character, but in a way the whole human race.”

Now then, me bullies — would you rather do the gallows dance and hang in chains until the crows pick your eyes from your rotten skulls? Or would you feel the roll of a stout ship beneath your feet again?

— Charles Laughton in ”Captain Kidd”

Charles Laughton renders a grandly theatrical performance as the infamous pirate, a role he would spoof in a 1952 comedy.

All-star supporting cast including Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, Gilbert Roland, John Carradine, Henry Daniell, and the New York pirate Sheldon Leonard !

Charles Laughton plays the infamous 17th century pirate captain, William Kidd. Hoping to increase his ill-gotten gains, Captain Kidd inveigles King William III (Henry Daniel) into appointing him the “patriotic” protector of a valuable treasure ship.

Kidd intends to steal the ship’s cargo for himself with the aid of his lieutenants William Moore (Gilbert Roland) and Orange Povy (John Carradine).

The romantic subplot involves brigand Adam Merry (Randolph Scott) and kidnapped noblewoman Lady Ann Falconer (Barbara Britton).

Laughton reprised his part in the 1952 farce Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd.

Oscar Nominations:

Scoring of Dramatic or Comedy: Werner Janssen

Oscar Context:

The winner was Miklos Rozsa for Hitchcock’s “Spellbound.”


United Artists

Running time: 83 minutes.

Directed by Rowland V. Lee

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